One of the great ball handlers and leapers in basketball history, a forerunner to Julius Erving and Michael Jordan at swooping to the basket, Connie Hawkins played four magical seasons with the Harlem Globetrotters in the 1960s.
After touring with the Globetrotters, Hawkins joined the ABA's Pittsburgh Pipers for the 1967-68 season and led them to the inaugural ABA title, en route to earning league Most Valuable Player honors. After playing the 1968-69 season with the ABA's Minnesota Muskies, Hawkins jumped to the NBA's Phoenix Suns for the 1969-70 campaign. The 6-8 forward spent seven years in the NBA and was selected to play in four NBA All-Star Games. Overall, the former University of Iowa standout appeared in 511 career NBA games (16.6 ppg) and 138 ABA games (28.2 ppg). Hawkins was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. "Hawk" received his Harlem Globetrotters "Legends" Ring on Jan. 22, 1994, during a pregame ceremony at America West Arena in Phoenix.
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